The Shark Net: Memories and Murder

By Robert Drewe

Written with an identical lyrical depth and spellbinding prose that has gained Robert Drewe's fiction overseas acclaim, The Shark Net is decided within the Fifties in a urban haunted through the threat of an elusive serial killer. Drewe's formative years within the middle-class beach suburb of Perth, Australia-often defined because the such a lot remoted urban within the world-takes a sinister flip while a social outcast (who seems to be an worker of Drewe's father) embarks on a five-year homicide spree. This strange memoir brilliantly inspires the confluence of adolescent innocence and sexual awakening whereas a hare-lipped killer who finally murders 8 humans, together with one in all Drewe's neighbors, lurks within the shadows.

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The place was once my lifestyles, my profession going? (The occupation: the final card within the depressive’s pack. ) In my lately got daze, the place was once I going? This was once now not the me i used to be used to. Who used to be this individual? merely the week earlier than, a lady in a Land-Rover with Queensland licence plates had stopped me within the Woolworths automobile park to hunt instructions to the large Prawn fish and chip store at the Pacific road at Ballina. it seems that she had hassle discovering a brilliant red, six-by-ninemetre concrete-and-fibreglass prawn which towered over Australia’s major street. She beckoned me to the auto window and requested, ‘Do you communicate English? ’ That threw me. Now I seemed international? ‘Yes – I – communicate – English,’ I enunciated. I gave instructions to the massive Prawn very crisply and grammatically. i wished my English to be impeccable. This Queenslander with unsophisticated eating conduct may be in doubtless approximately me or my antecedents. the girl gave me an odd glance, thanked me speedily, fast wound up the auto window, and sped up away. Now I lay knotted up within the humidity, the stink of death snake in my nostrils, imitating an previous New Orleans entertainer. tonight of the soul used to be starting to be a lot darker than the standard abyss. may possibly this be karma? long ago I’d left ladies for different girls. I, too, had made teenagers unsatisfied. Psychologists say you can’t omit a existence degree; having overlooked my wild-oats interval by way of marrying at eighteen, I’d sowed a number of oats in my thirties. yet that was once yesteryear. and never throughout the marriage. Creatively, i used to be additionally tussling with anything Don DeLillo wrote in his novel element Omega : ‘The actual existence isn't really reducible to phrases spoken or written, no longer through someone, ever. the real lifestyles happens while we’re on my own, considering, feeling, misplaced in reminiscence, dreamingly self-aware, the sub-microscopic moments. ’ reasonable sufficient. in the mean time i used to be definitely ‘lost in reminiscence’ all day lengthy and ‘dreamingly self-aware’ of ‘sub-microscopic moments’. yet i discovered it challenging to set any of those moments down – or anything both – with out lapsing into maudlin self-pity. The critic in me, the person that prided himself on his literary bullshit detector, was once having difficulty with resourceful objectivity. Then, then, as frequently occurs – and the way thankful i'm for this regular behavior – simply whilst fear and longing and guilt may have swept me right into a hellish vortex, a idea struck. no longer an epiphany precisely, yet certainly the bounce of perception while an idea indicates itself. i used to be really galvanised by means of depression. I stood apart and observed the snake episode and its apprehensive aftermath, this concurrence of worry and family-defence and disappointment, from a writerly distance. I observed the ridiculousness within the state of affairs: the snake, the tempest, the self-absorption, the excessive nervousness point, the fat Domino voice, and that i felt oddly calmed. My daughter used to be ultimately asleep. Her grip cozy, her hair and breath brushed my cheek, love – overwhelming, indescribable love – enveloped me and, for the instant, i used to be stored. . . . Over the following few days I relate the snake tale many times.

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